Just for its own sake

I recently caught up with the BBC's A Brief History of Mathematics with professor Marcus du Sautoy of Oxford university.* For a non-specialist such as I, it's an enlightening crash course into some of the great turning points in modern Maths and the people who made the ground-breaking discoveries. In the final episode, Prof. du…

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Why do we sing?

Luther’s hymns were more than sung propaganda. They had a specific catechetical function in undergirding the principal teachings of the faith. They were sung during the narrow catechesis of teaching the main parts of the catechism in church and home. But there was a broader catechetical function when these same catechism hymns were sung on…

The trouble with short hymns and services

These shortened forms of hymnic versions of the Lord’s Prayer are symptomatic of our modern age, which is impatient with hymns longer than three or four stanzas and with services of worship that last longer than fifty-nine minutes. But worship and prayer require time if we are to become attuned to what we are doing…

It’s not fair

Sermon preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church on Septuagesima Sunday, 20 February 2011. Text: Matthew 20:1–16 It’s not fair! It isn’t even nearly fair. A group of men had been working in the same vineyard. Some had worked the full day, probably nearly 12 hours; some for 9 hours, some for six, some three, and…

Hymn singing and multiculturalism

Multiculturalism, rightly understood, has chronological as well as geographical dimensions, and our worship is enriched when we sing such hymns of faith that originate in earlier times and under different conditions than our won. The faith does not change but expression of it does. In our frenetic world we need to sing such expressions of…

A Mission of Compassion

The following report is from a friend. Please read, share and disseminate. And pray for these people and for persecuted Christians throughout the world.   A Mission of Compassion Background Information Due to their nomadic lifestyle background, almost all Somali ethnic extended families are widely scattered. Not being an exception, my father, Abdi Gurhan’s extended…